Furniture and Woodworking

Burch Company Wood Studio

R & K Woodworking

John Fouillard

Childwood Products

Bella Design

Bella Design

Country Toys

R & K Woodworking

CNCs in Woodworking

In addition to high-volume furniture and millwork companies, novice and master craftsmen alike are embracing CNC technology in their workshops.  Once a taboo subject in the fine woodworking establishment, the sheer number of possibilities and advantages that CNC routing brings to the table is hard to ignore.  Craftsmen are quickly realizing that the CNC process doesn’t jeopardize their pieces' authenticity; it only adds to quality and uniqueness of the finished product.

For instance, precise-fitting assemblies that are difficult to produce using conventional tools can be created on the CNC.  Dados, rabbets, arches, inlays and even 3D relief carvings can be cut quickly and efficiently using CNC technology.  Designs that are too time consuming or impossible to create using traditional woodworking tools are now possible.  For example, knock-down furniture assemblies are very time consuming to design and get perfect without a whole pile of jigs and templates.  Instead of physical templates, the CNC uses digital versions that you create in software.  You have the ability to try out your design and assemblies on your computer before you cut into your material.  You can quickly modify your design on the computer to adjust fit, or take existing designs and transform them into new products.  With the proper hardware and software, you can take your existing 2D & 3D furniture parts and convert them to a digital format that the CNC understands.  This digital version of your parts can be transformed to produce any number of sizes and shapes of your original design.  One furniture assembly now becomes an entire line of furniture!

CNC Advantages in Woodworking Markets

The CNC process also allows you to quickly and easily tailor your products to a given sector in the marketplace using a value-added strategy.  Let’s say you create a generic end table as part of your furniture line that you typically sell at one price point.  You can add a 3D relief appliqué to the same table with little effort and then sell the table at a significant premium.  The appliqué can be any design that you choose depending on your target customer.  The CNC could just as easily add a v-carved design or border to an otherwise plain panel as well, increasing your profits with very little effort on your behalf.  With a small amount of creativity, you can considerably expand your product offerings and increase your customer base.

Arts, Crafts and CNC

Crafts people of many types are also taking advantage of the CNC capabilities.  They use CNC to turn out a higher quality product, to offer more products to their customers and to create unique products that competitors may not be able to produce by hand.  The time savings resulting from adding a CNC router also provides a distinct advantage, even if CNC is only used for initial shaping of materials or for providing unusual decorative features.  This means more time to think of the next season’s product line and less time invested in physical labor.

If you have and interest in 3D cutting or carving, please view this introduction to 3D and CNC.

A Few of the Woodworkers Using ShopBot CNCs

Elk Creek Woodworking, Tom & Deborah Twark - Forest, VA
High-quality furniture frames, architectural millwork and custom woodworking

Phoenix CNC Creations, Ron van Gaalen - Tecumseh, Ontario, CANADA
Custom 3D carvings, plaques, signs and architectural millwork

R & K Woodworking, Randall Ouellette - Vergennes, VT
Custom Production Woodworking

ChildWood Products, Dick McGuire - Verdigris, OK
Heirloom Children's Furniture

Beacon Custom Woodwork David Buchsbaum - Atlanta, GA
Custom Cabinets

Country Casual, Ed Goldstein -  Gaithersburg, MD
Teak Garden Furniture

John Fouillard - Regina, Saskatchewan, CANADA
Clocks and More

Burch Company Wood Studio, Warner Burch - Durham, NC
Custom Furniture and Interiors

Country Toys - The Dixons, Olalla, WA
Quality-Built Wooden Toys

 

Please contact us if you would like to be added to this page

A Recommended Woodworking CNC

Hardware:
It's hard to specify a CNC tool that will be right for all woodworkers because the nature of the work can vary so much. So here we specify what we consider is a basic woodworking CNC based on our PRSalpha 96x60. Besides a high performance PRSalpha, this CNC system includes a 4hp spindle.  If you will need to hold down sheet goods or other work suitable for a universal vacuum, consider adding a 16.9hp vacuum pump as an efficient hold-down solution. These components are all production oriented and will provide fast efficient cutting.  Depending on how heavy your cutting will be, you may want to consider a 5hp spindle for increased cutting power.  If you need to reduce the cost of your initial woodworking CNC, consider a router instead of a spindle, and consider a PRSstandard system rather than the higher performance, PRSalpha.

Software:
The ShopBot PartWorks Suite (CAD/CAM) design software that is included with every new ShopBot is an excellent way to get started with CNC.  This software will handle many types of CNC design of interest to woodworkers.  For production work where material-efficient layout or nesting of parts is required consider the ArtCAM Insignia software that includes extensive design editing and advanced nesting features. There is a cabinetmaking module that can be added to Insignia for integration with cabinet design software such as KCDW.  If your interests are in 3D work, you can take the approach of copying existing parts with a digitizing probe in order to create your cutting files, or you can use 3D design software to create new objects.  There are many choices in 3D design software, but ShopBotters have had considerable success with ArtCAM Pro, which is the leading system for turning 2D design ideas into 3D shapes, parts and patterns.  ArtCAM Pro includes Insignia in addition to its remarkable 3D shaping and sculpting features. Another 3D software package, Aspire by Vectric, offers full-featured functionality at an affordable price point.

ShopBot Woodworking Tool:

  • PRSalpha 96x60 ShopBot
    (#10162) $18,945
    • - Includes steel and extruded aluminum table (120x60)
      - Includes ShopBot Control System Software & ShopBot PartWorks Design Software
      - Includes Z-zero Plate, XY Proximity Switch Kit & Dustskirt
  • HSD 4 HP 230V 3-Phase Spindle
    (#12572) $3,039
  • Starter Bit Kit (8 useful cutters to get you started; for spindle or router)
    (#13699) $195  

System Price = $21,779


System Price = $33,619

[If you're on a real budget, read 'Reducing Costs of your CNC system']
 

[Click here for a detailed, printable, PDF version of ShopBot's current price list]

ShopBot Resources for Woodworkers

Web Resources for Woodworkers

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